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Director of Faraday Science Communications

Joanna brings more than 20 years’ experience writing about a wide range of scientific topics in biosciences, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. After a PhD in Molecular Toxicology, Joanna began a career in science publishing, as associate editor on Drug Discovery Today and later as senior editor, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. In 2007, she joined one of the world’s largest biomedical charities, Cancer Research UK, specializing in plain language science communications for patients and the public. Joanna has been a freelance writer since 2017, covering all biomedical topics with a focus on oncology, pharmacology and drug discovery.

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Published Content
Total: 51
Cell Metabolism and Cancer content piece image

Cell Metabolism and Cancer

It’s almost 100 years since Otto Warburg’s observation that cancer cells metabolize glucose in a manner that is distinct from that of cells in normal tissues. Yet, we still don’t fully understand why. In the years since, significant effort and resource has focused on understanding cancer-specific metabolic changes. Today, attention is also turning to the metabolic interaction between a tumor and its host.

Big Data Analysis Approaches for Drug Discovery

Big data has long been a buzzword in drug discovery, but as analysis methods become more sophisticated, its potential is beginning to be realized. We look at some of the latest advances in big data analysis for drug discovery.

Emerging Classes of Next-generation Biotherapeutics

We are entering uncharted territory in biopharmaceutical development. Emerging new classes of treatments are harnessing the natural power of viruses and cells and engineering them to fight human diseases. As our arsenal of conventional therapies begins to fail, a new army of biotherapeutics is on the horizon. Here, we look at two new classes of treatments leading the charge.

Binding Kinetics in Drug Discovery

The study of binding kinetics goes back more than a century and is the foundation of pharmacological theory as we know it today. Yet, although the interactions between drug target, endogenous ligands and exogenous potential drugs are highly complex, the kinetics of most approved and clinically effective drugs are markedly similar.

Current Trends in Bispecifics, Dual-action and Combination Therapies

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that treatments for complex diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and depression are unlikely to target a single molecule in the pathological pathway. Drug developers are turning to new ways to exploit more than one drug target at a time.

Exploiting the Glycome for Cancer Therapeutics

The surfaces of cancer cells frequently express different types of glycoproteins, and because healthy cells don’t express these molecules (or do so at a much lower level), there has been significant interest in them as potential anticancer targets. Recent advances suggest we are about to see a resurgence in cancer glycomics.

Exploiting the Tumor Microenvironment for Cancer Therapeutics

It’s more than a century since Paget first proposed the ‘soil and seed’ hypothesis in cancer, providing evidence that the environment surrounding a tumor is as important as the tumor itself. Research in this area has gathered momentum and it’s now the focus of intense research efforts.

Phenotypic Versus Target-Based Screening for Drug Discovery

Target-based screening has been the method of choice in drug discovery for the past two decades, but phenotypic screening is having something of a renaissance. We look at the advantages and applications of both.

Novel Biotherapeutics for the Treatment of Cancer

Immunotherapies might be stealing the show in cancer biotherapeutics, but it would seem that combining them with other biological agents – DNA or viruses, for example – is the way to seeing dramatic successes in more cancer patients.
7 Ways Big Data is Delivering for Drug Discovery content piece image

7 Ways Big Data is Delivering for Drug Discovery

Just when you thought you’d got to grips with the idea of big data, a whole new set of buzzwords comes along: artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, structured and unstructured data. But for the pharmaceutical industry right now these are more than just buzzwords, they are the promise of a new era of productivity.